MENTORING
SUCCESS STORIES

The Pueblo Mentoring Collaborative nominated five outstanding youth that have excelled in mentoring programs in Pueblo. In order to quality, youth were nominated either by their mentors or program staff through a success story. Youth received a certificate and a $100 that was presented their mentoring sites. Here are a few of those success stories.

Quinton

Quinton was referred to this mentoring program because of not meeting the school‘s social and curriculum standards. Quinton is one of many in our school system that are lost souls not understanding his place in his world, what life offers to him, and not having hope or faith to have dreams/goals. Quinton was lucky to get into this program because someone paid attention to him and his needs. So many like Quinton get lost in the system and continue to fail in normal life’s roles. To overcome these obstacles, Quinton and I look at my career and the work I do for Xcel Energy. Quinton became very astute to how Natural Gas Distribution works, how it helps our Community and why Xcel Energy does what it does. Quinton and I also, interviewed the School Principal, two police officers, and a School Councilor. We would also, look at weekly/monthly periodical for what is happening in our society and around the world. We looked at grocery ads, housing and other basic needs to remind us of what is important to understand and how we fit in and that we are something special. Quinton is finding his way now to better grades, more social skills, and bravery. He is moving in a good life direction and has more skills to rely on. This story about Quinton and our adventures into mentoring needs to be heard because unlike individuals stories of personal tragedy, abuse, and mental crudity, Quinton’s story is the most common and will contribute to a landslide of individual students that will be lost in the mix of the education institutions, education political agenda, and parents that are doing the best they can. Struggling families used to be in the minority and now kids like Quinton are in the majority and can be saved or headed in the right direction with programs like this and allowing schools and teachers to teach.

Thank you,
Edgie Walrath

Arial

Hello my name is Patty Guerrero. I was one of the first mentors that started with the Pilot program in 2011. I started at Heaton Middle school with a 6th grader and mentored her until the middle of her 7th grade year. Unfortunately, she moved to another school that was no longer participating in the mentoring program. I then started with a new mentee at Liberty Point Middle School in the fall of 2013.

I first met this timid little blonde girl at the Mentor, Mentee, Parent meet in greet at the school last October. Arial looked at me with her big blue eyes and I can tell she was not quite sure what role I was going to play in her life. Her mother was not at the school yet so I asked her to tell me a little about herself. At that point it was like I opened the gates to a horse race. She spoke so fast and wanted to tell me anything and everything at that very moment. I learned that she spends a significant amount of time in the office trying to speak to a counselor about issues with her and other students and how she continues to get bullied.

One of her challenges has been over coming fear. The trauma that she experienced a few years ago has caused anxiety and some self-esteem issues. One of the things that we do when we meet every week is discuss her fears and look for solutions. I provided Arial with a journal that she can write in and we can discuss in our meetings. In the beginning she wanted to call me all of the time if she had a fear or a worry. The journal has helped her to document and it gives us an opportunity to discuss each week. Instead of signing up to see a counselor, we wait for our weekly meetings and discuss each issue. At times we even role play different scenarios of her being bullied by other students. I believe it has given her the confidence to face some of her fears and be able to handle these situations on her own. As each week and each month has passed I see an improvement on issues that she was not able to resolve on her own. The last few months of school she did not sign up one time to speak to a counselor about issues with another student.

One of the other challenges was her participation in P.E activities “due to her asthma.” She expressed a love for volleyball. During some of our sessions I would make a point to do some type of physical activity. As an ex athlete and coach I had a few drills that we worked on in the gym after our lunch. That was a highlight for her. At the end of the year I would allow her to create a game that would involve some physical activity. Sometimes there would be a volleyball, a hula hoop or a dodge ball involved, or sometimes all three at the same time. At no time during these activities did she ever need her inhaler. I have encouraged her to go out for an extracurricular sport, for several reasons. I believe this will increase her confidence and it will help with social skills and team work. She did mention that the participation fee was too high for her family to afford. In the meantime we are gearing up for her 7th grade year and we will continue to journal and work through problem solving. We will continue to work on creativity and physical activity during our weekly meetings. As I see these areas strengthen I also see the grades improving. Arial is a highly intelligent kid, but with the anxiety she experiences I am sure that it may hinder her full potential at times. I am so proud of the strides Arial has made this past year. If she were to be selected for this recognition she could the money towards a participation fee if she was to go out for the volleyball team or she can purchase school clothes and supplies for the upcoming year. I truly appreciate you considering Arial for this award and I truly appreciate the privilege of making a difference in a young life and the opportunity to volunteering in the community that I love!

Sincerely,
Patty Guerrero

Ukiah

I am nominating Ukiah for the Mentee Success Story Award. I have been Ukiah’s mentor for the past 3 years. When I first met Ukiah I learned he was an only child living with his Mom and there were no male figures involved in his life that he could relate or communicate with. I sensed an immediate connection between us and I could tell that he felt the same. He is a polite and friendly young man, however, he was having problems in school. He was not completing and turning in his assignments, was easily distracted and had a serious attendance problem. He was failing several of his classes.

I quickly discovered that he was in need of someone to talk to that wasn’t judgmental and could give him advice and encouragement. He started making gradual improvements in his school work and his attendance by the time he completed 6th grade. While in 7th grade he continued to improve, but there were certainly setbacks that he worked hard at correcting. I continued to work with him, setting expectations while at the same time giving him positive reinforcement and continually asking about his school work and grades. Last year (8th Grade), I was very impressed when he himself told me “his goal was to make the Honor Roll”. I continued to encourage him and push him to keep working hard and not get frustrated. I would at times call him at home to ensure he was doing his homework assignments and reminding him of the importance of turning them in on time. I told him if he made the honor roll he could easily get a 4.0 GPA. Well, I am overjoyed and proud to say, Ukiah not only achieved his goal of making the Honor Roll he earned his 4.0 GPA.

I believe people in the community need to hear this success story because there are so many kids like Ukiah that could be successful in school and in their careers by someone simply providing them with support and encouragement and believing in them.
I know Ukiah would benefit greatly from this prize as money and being raised by a one parent low income family are factors in his life. For his diligence and hard work I have rewarded Ukiah with gift certificates. He is always appreciative of this and there have been times he has unselfishly shared them with his Mom.

Respectfully submitted,
Fred Arellano